I had a chance to catch up with Derek Stykalo, a Red Sox blogger with BoSox Injection, for a (very) little Q&A session. He was kind enough to answer my outsider perspective questions on the Boston Red Sox.
Check out my questions and his answers and be sure to check out Jay’s comprehensive series preview.
Zac Snyder: What’s the deal with Carl Crawford and how has he been treated through his struggles?
Derek Stykalo: The month of April didn’t go very well for Crawford and while he won’t admit it, I’m sure he was second guessing his decision to come to Boston. The fans were on him steadily after a disastrous start to the season and it couldn’t have been a comfortable place to play in Crawford’s mind. But when the calendar flipped over to May, Crawford has become a new player. He has two walk off hits that gave the Red Sox two huge wins and with it came renewed hope for Crawford from the faithful fans. While his average is still low for his standards and expectations, he has been getting on base a lot more and is showing signs on a regular basis of the man that Theo Epstein signed for 7 years.
ZS: Is there anything to pinpoint as a reason for Josh Beckett once again looking like a stud?
DS: The biggest reason for Beckett’s turnaround is his health. Last season he struggled on the mound and he struggled to stay healthy. This year he came into camp feeling 100% and he’s now pitching like the Beckett of old. Throw in the fact that he was bumped to the number four starter at the beginning of the year and there is no doubt just a tad of motivation to prove to everyone, including Terry Francona that he is still the leader of this staff. Beckett is a guy who wears his emotions on his sleeve and his ego no doubt took a hit when he was knocked down the rotation. When Beckett is on, he’s a lot of fun to watch and this year is shaping up that way.
ZS: With the AL East being such a competitive division, how early to Red Sox fans start scoreboard watching
DS: It’s funny you mentioned that as I did a poll about 3 weeks ago on whether or not Red Sox fans watch the scoreboard this early in the season. The majority are like me and watch it anxiously every night, while others watch it, but not on a nightly basis. While it’s only May the scoreboard does get a lot of attention. It helps make it easier now that the Red Sox are playing better and they’re fortunate that one team didn’t get real hot and run away with the division lead. They’re only 2.5 games out entering Wednesday night but that doesn’t mean we don’t still check to see how the other four AL East clubs are doing. The way the Jays, Rays and Orioles are playing and throw in the Yankees, who everyone knows will be there at the end and it’s a meat grinder of a division. So yes, it’s never too early to be scoreboard watching.